If you are in charge of hiring for your company or organization, partnering with a consumer reporting agency (CRA) to help find the best candidate for your open positions will most likely be a decision you will not regret; unless you don’t do your research.  A respectable consumer reporting agency (CRA) will deliver speedy, precise, and inclusive reports; utilizing sound practices to ease your risks and enable you to hire the right people.  However, not all CRAs follow the rules.

There currently is no regulatory agency to oversee Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) that perform background screens.  It is imperative to research a CRA before you sign a contract.  By performing due diligence, you not only protect yourself, but you protect your organization.  When hiring a background screening company by following this guide:

Make sure that they are an active member of the National Association of Background Screeners, or the NAPBS.    While not a guarantee, membership in NAPBS gives you a good indication that the company is staying current with best practices and changing legislation.

Perform an internet examination on the company you are considering to hire by entering the company name, followed by ‘lawsuit’ in a search engine.  The results will let you know if the company has ever been (or at least recently) in trouble with the law due to poor company practices.

Third we recommend asking for current customer referrals. It is always good to get a third party opinion, especially when it involves both money and people.  A customer referral will let you know what strengths and weaknesses a company has.

Below is an article from The Background Investigator.  This article features a non-profit that took a huge hit from a conman who proclaimed that he ran background screens for a living.

Man Tricks Charity into Paying for Fake Background Checks
-May 03, 2013 posted by Steve Brownstein – The Background Investigator

A serial fraudster who tricked a disabled children’s charity into paying £14,000 for fake criminal record checks has today walked free from court.  Kenneth McKeon, from Plymouth, who has been dubbed ‘King Con’, was paid the money by Krisis Kids to see if volunteers had a history of sex offences or violence.

He gained their confidence by pretending he had a disabled child and that he was suffering cancer.  But the 43-year-old had no access to the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and simply pocketed the cash.

McKeon has a string of convictions for swindling dozens of victims and charities out of money, Plymouth Crown Court heard.  He pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud and was given 200 hours community service.

Sentencing him, Judge Paul Darlow said: ‘The order I give you is one of unpaid work, 200 on each of these guilty pleas to be completed in 12 months.’ McKeon was jailed in 2009 after setting up a bogus children’s charity that promised to send underprivileged kids on holiday.

After raising £47,500 in a series of scams he was labeled a ‘persistent and dishonest menace’ and jailed for three and a half years.  His other scams included a Cardiff-based company called Nationwide Associates that billed homeowners £1,000 for a non-existent speedy sale service.